Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Baseboards


Well, we have pretty much covered all the major appliances and areas of the house so far during our Spring Cleaning series. It is now time to start with the small stuff...the stuff we often forget (or rather ignore) to clean. Today, we start with the baseboards...


I honestly HATE cleaning baseboards because they require me to get down on my hands and knees to clean them. But I have a handy trick that will keep you from cleaning them each and every month.

First, begin by dusting all your baseboards. I do this with a vacuum, especially in carpeted areas so I can vacuums the crevasses between the wall and carpet as well.

Next, using your all-purpose cleaner and a damp rag or microfiber cloth, scrub all your baseboards down. This is a good time to get those kids working if you have them. Let them crawl across the floor!

Now here's the most amazing trick ever...Dryer sheets! It doesn't matter what kind, so pick a smell you love. If you are using them for your laundry, then you should already have a smell you love. If you don't use dryer sheets, you can pick some up cheap at the dollar store. Wipe down all your baseboards with the dryer sheets, making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies. The dry sheets repel dust and dirt, so as long as you are dropping anything on them like food and drinks, they should stay cleaner longer....like 5 months longer. Instead of cleaning every month, you can clean every 6 months, depending on your family of course!

Happy Cleaning!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Previous Posts:
All-Purpose Cleaner
Burners 
Oven
Small Appliances
Floor & Prosperity
Bathroom & Tub 
Washer
Dryer

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Dryer


Welcome back to our Spring Cleaning Series. Yesterday, we cleaned the washer; today we will clean the dryer!

This is actually a lot easier than cleaning the washer and less time consuming. You only need about 5 minutes to do it, and you will be thankful you did! Maintaining your washer and dryer ensure they will last you!

First, spray the outside of your dryer with your all-purpose cleaner and wipe it down with a damp cloth to get all the dust off it.


Next, empty the lint filter.


Then vacuum out the lint filter.

 

Finish by vacuuming out the lint filter holder. Try to get a deep as possible to suck up and strangling lint clogging up the dryer!


Return the lint filter and you are all done!

Told you that was easy!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Previous Posts:
All-Purpose Cleaner
Burners 
Oven
Small Appliances
Floor & Prosperity
Bathroom & Tub 
Washer

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Strawberry Grapefruit Smoothie

 

Welcome back to Tasty Tuesday! I have to say this is probably my favorite day of the week...when I have a new recipe that is! This week is another breakfast food (I am trying to expand my breakfast options if you couldn't tell), and it is a good one!


Strawberry Grapefruit  Smoothie

1 grapefruit
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 sweet apple
1 tbsp ground flax seed

In a blender, add all of your ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

***

This smoothie is soooooooo good! I tried it Sunday morning and it blew my socks off! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Washer


By now, your kitchen and bathrooms are pretty clean, or should be if you are following my Spring Cleaning Series! Now lets move onto two appliances people often forget to clean: the washer and dryer. Today we are going to focus on the washer and tackle the dryer tomorrow. Neither is hard to clean, but people tend to forget that they need to be cleaned and maintained.


To begin cleaning your washer, use your all-purpose cleaner to spray down the outside. Mine was pretty caked with soap and dust. After spraying, I used a damp rag to wipe off the top. After the top was clean I opened up the washer and wiped down around the door and the top of the bowl that holds your clothes. You will be surprised how dirty the top of the bowl can really be. Again, I just used a damp cloth and my all-purpose cleaner, washing the rag out frequently in the sink.


Next I fill the washer with hot water. I only used a small load since I wasn't actually washing clothes. Next, I poured in 1 cup of vinegar. You can also use bleach. Do not use commercial cleaners since they can often ruin your washer. Vinegar or bleach in hot water is enough to flush the system and clean your washer. Let it run on a quick cycle and you are all done!


Nice and clean!

Tomorrow, we will tackle the dryer, which takes even less time!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Previous Posts:
All-Purpose Cleaner
Burners 
Oven
Small Appliances
Floor & Prosperity
Bathroom & Tub

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Bathroom & Tub


So far we have covered cleaning the kitchen as part of our Spring Cleaning Series. I hope your kitchen is as clean as ours! Its now time to move on to the bathroom!

I know all of you know how to clean the toilet and the sink and even the shower, but today I would like to share my favorite bathroom cleaner, other than vinegar and water that is. Baking soda works wonderfully as well, but this cheap little product cuts through soap scum better than baking soda ever did. And what is it? Bon Ami!

This still is wonderful! Not only will it clean your tub, but you can clean almost any hard surface in your house. You can also clean your stainless steel pots with it! Furthermore, its all natural! I wouldn't eat it though.

So, to the shower! As you can see its pretty dirty. Not as dirty as it could be, but dirty enough to see.


First, I sprayed the entire shower with my all purpose cleaner. Next, I sprinkled the tub with the powder.

E

I then closed the drain and added some water to the tub.


Scrub, scrub, scrub, then rinse. Make sure you get the soap scum off the walls to!


And you are done! Its going to take some scrubbing, but it will get almost everything off. If you still have some soap scum left in your tub and REALLY want to get it off, you can always use Goo Be Gone. Its what I use when I want a deep clean. After my shower, I spray the bottom with some and let it sit until I am done getting ready. Then I just wipe off all the scum and rinse! Easy as pie and NO scrubbing, but a lot less green. A word of caution though. DO NOT take a shower or bath right after cleaning it. Let it sit and dry for a couple hours. If you don't, you'll regret it. Trust me...

And now you have a clean shower! I also use Bon Ami in my sinks and you can use it in the toilet if you have hard water stains to remove. If not, spraying peroxide in the bowl and vinegar everywhere else will do the trick. The peroxide whitens and disinfects while the vinegar cuts through the grime and disinfects the seats!

Happy cleaning!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Previous Posts:
All-Purpose Cleaner
Burners 
Oven
Small Appliances
Floor & Prosperity

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Floor & Prosperity


Today for our Spring Cleaning series post we will talk about cleaning the floors. This is pretty basic, but it is important to maintaining a happy, healthy home. Instead of telling you how to clean though, I'm going provide with you a prosperity spell.

Before you begin this spell, however, you do need to actually clean your floors. Sweep and mop your hard surfaces and vacuum all carpet. I did not use this spell in the bathrooms because, well, lets face it; the bathroom is no place for prosperity, at least not in my opinion. I tend not to work any magic in the bathroom just because it doesn't feel right to me. You may feel otherwise and want to work the spell in your bathrooms as well.

Anyway, back to the cleaning. You want to make sure you get up all you can from your floors to maximize the spells abilities. This particular spell is adapted from Tess Whitehurst in Magical Housekeeping.

Prosperity Floor Wash Spell

Ingredients
    Bucket
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    Peel of 1 orange
    Peppermint essential oil or extract
    Mop or cleaning rag
    Pot
    Mister for carpet

Fill your pot with water and add basil and orange peel. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill your bucket half way with water. After 5 minutes, add your orange-basil mixture to the bucket. Add 7 drops of your peppermint essential oil or extract. Place your hands over the bucket and close your eyes. Imagine a bright green light coming from the bucket and flecks of gold flakes swirling in the water. See a beam of light enter through you, your heart, and out of your hands and into the bucket. When the light is powerful enough, open your eyes and begin mopping all your hard floors.

If you have carpet, like we do, pour some of the mixture into a mister and mist your carpets. As you mop and mist, imagine money and happiness flowing freely into your home and life. You may also want to mop or mist your front porch to allow prosperity to easily flow into your home.

***

I hope that each and everyone of you benefits from this spell!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Previous Posts:
All-Purpose Cleaner
Burners 
Oven
Small Appliances

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Banana Pancakes with Apple Maple Syrup


Last week I shared my pancake recipe with you for our Tasty Tuesday post. This week I would like to share a spin off of it, Banana Pancakes! I happened to have two bananas quickly going bad over the weekend, so I decided to make pancakes with them. The verdict?! AMAZING. I also made a small batch of apple maple syrup which I will also share with you today!


Banana Pancakes

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Egg replacer for 1 egg
1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Begin by mashing you bananas in the oil, egg replacer, and almond milk. Next, stir in dry ingredients. Your batter will still be chunky because of the banana.

Heat some vegan margarine in your skillet and scoop out 1/4 cup batter pools. When they begin to "bubble" flip. Cook until golden brown on each side.


Meanwhile, you can make your Apple Maple Syrup!

Apply Maple Syrup

1/2 apple (any kind, I used granny smith)
1 cup maple syrup (pure is the best for you)

Dice up you apple. In a sauce pan, heat your maple syrup and apples until it begins to simmer. Simmer about 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Pour over your pancakes and ENJOY!

***


This is one of the best breakfasts we've had in a while. I am totally going out and getting more bananas soon so we can make them again this weekend!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Fridge


Today for our Spring Cleaning series we will be cleaning the fridge! In January we talked about organizing your fridge, now we are going to organize it again, but AFTER we clean it first!

To clean the fridge, you will need baking soda, dish soap, vinegar, and water.


First, turn off your fridge.


Next, remove all the food from your fridge and then the drawers.


In a small bowl mix a couple tablespoons of baking soda and some dish soap and water so you form a paste.


Using a sponge, begin scrubbing the inside of the fridge. The baking soda will not only work to remove the grime, but it will also help deodorize the fridge.After scrubbing down the shelves and drawers, mix 4 cups hot water with 1 cup vinegar. Using a wash cloth, begin wiping down the entire fridge, removing all the baking soda mixture in the process.

Next, use a microfiber cloth or regular rag to dry every surface. You don't want the fridge to be wet when you turn it back on and return your food.


After drying all surfaces, turn your fridge back on and replace all the food. Make sure you check dates and dispose of expired food.


I also rearranged my shelves and drawers to maximize space. After placing my food back in the fridge, I quickly put together a baking soda deodorizer.


Supplies:
   Empty jar
   1/2 cup baking soda
   hammer
   nail

Using the hammer and nail, poke holes in the top of the lid of the jar. Fill the jar with baking soda and place in your fridge. I suggest replacing the baking soda once a month to maximum freshness.

Now you have a clean and fresh smelling fridge! Good luck cleaning everyone!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Previous Posts:
All-Purpose Cleaner
Burners 
Oven
Small Appliances
Fridge

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Small Applicances

 

Welcome back to our Spring Cleaning series! Now that we have gotten the counters, cabinets, and oven clean, lets started on the small appliances. Today we will clean the coffee maker and microwave. Both are very easy to clean and don't require a lot of work.
 

Lets start with the microwave.

First, fill a small microwave safe bowl with vinegar. You need about a 1/2 cup so it doesn't evaporate in the microwave.

Place it in your microwave and set the time to 3 and a half minutes and let it come to a boil. Let the vinegar sit in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, you can start cleaning your coffee maker!


After 5 minutes have passed, use a damp sponge to wipe off all the grime. The vinegar not only loosens the cooked on food, it also disinfects!











Now for the coffee maker.

Fill your coffee pot with 2 parts part, 1 part vinegar. Pour the solution into your microwave and brew with a clean coffee filter. After the solution has brewed, allow the coffee maker to cool. Once cool, fill the coffee pot with only water and pour into your coffee maker. Brew the water with another clean filter. Once again, let cool. Once cool, wipe down the entire coffee maker with a damp sponge. Make sure to wipe down the inside as well. Make sure to dry your coffee maker if it is stainless steal.
Next, wash the pot and any pieces that are removable with soap and water. Allow to air dry.

Easy as pie, right?! Right!

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Previous Posts:
All-Purpose Cleaner
Burners 
Oven

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Oven


Welcome back to the Spring Cleaning series. Now that the stove top is clean, we might as well work on the oven! This takes a little more time to clean, but it was well worth it in the end.

 

I used a very similar technique to what I used on the stove top to clean the oven. However, we are going to start by making a paste with the baking soda before using peroxide.

Ingredients
   Baking Soda
   Water
   Peroxide


Pour about a 1/4 of a cup of baking soda into a bowl. Mix just enough water to make a thick paste. If you add too much water, let the mixture settle and you can pour out the excess water.

Now that your paste is made, we can begin cleaning the oven. First remove your racks and let them soak in some hot soapy water. I put mine in my tub because they were too big for the sink.

Next wipe out the large chunks of burnt food with a cloth. With a paint brush, begin systematically painting the paste into your oven. Make sure you put a thick coat over the entire base of the oven.


Since I have cats and couldn't leave the oven open, I grabbed a blow dryer and blew the door somewhat dry so the paste wouldn't run once it was closed.


You are going to want this to sit for a couple hours, if not oven night before cleaning out the paste. Meanwhile, scrub your racks clean.

After you have let it sit, using a spatula or paint scraper, begin scraping off the paste. This cleaned out the inside of the oven very well, but the lid still had some burned food on it so, using the removed paste, I mixed it with peroxide and allowed it to sit for 15 minutes.

Using my scrubbing pad, I then scrubbed down the inside of the door, removing the majority of the grime. I then took a wet reg and wiped out the entire oven, making sure all the baking soda was removed.


And you're done! No harsh chemicals, no hot house, clean oven!


Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Previous Posts:
All-Purpose Cleaner
Burners

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Pancakes


Welcome to another Tasty Tuesday! Today I want to share my vegan pancake recipe with you. We eat a lot of pancakes around here on the weekends, and this recipe is cheap and easy to make!


Ingredients

1 1/2 cup almond or soy milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp any extract (I like vanilla, but you can use peppermint)
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1-2 tbsp water (if letting it sit over night)

Add all the ingredients into a blender, liquids first, except water. Mix until blended. If too thick, add a little bit of water at a time. You can let this mixture sit over night in the fridge then use it. If you do this, reblend in the morning and add water to moisten.

Heat pan and place a tbsp of vegan margarine in the bottom for nonstick purposes.Pour mixture into heated pan, preferably cast iron. When the mixture begins to bubble, flip. Cook until both sides are golden brown and middle is soft and warm.

Enjoy!

Pretty simple, eh? These things taste great with or without syrup. Play around with the extract until you find the perfect one. I have heard orange is good, but we've never tried it.

Look Alive!
<3The Mortician's Wife

Spring Cleaning: Burners


Welcome back to Spring Cleaning! Yesterday you guys got a glimpse of how nasty my burner rings have gotten over the past month or so. Honestly, I allowed my house to get a lot dirtier than I normally would have simply to show you guys how well these cleaners work, but the burners were not part of the plan. This was very simply laziness. Guilty!


Anyway, cleaning the rings is actually very easy. I have not actually ever cleaned the burners themselves. Letting them soak in soapy water should help you remove most of the grime. I have seen a lot of people use ammonia to clean their burners but ammonia is a harsh chemical that releases toxic fumes so I have avoided using it. If you would like to use this method, simply place each burner in a ziploc bag, pour 2 tablespoons of ammonia in each bag, and let them sit over night. The grime should wash away without any scrubbing.

Cleaning my burner rings does not include any harsh chemicals. All you need is baking soda and peroxide!

Pour and spread on a thick coat of baking soda.


Next, pour about 1 tablespoon of peroxide in each ring. You want enough to wet the baking soda but not drench it.


Let sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, begin scrubbing away the grime.

For tough areas, use a knife (or magic eraser) to loosen the grime.


Spray with your All-Purpose cleaner and wipe clean and dry.


Pretty easy, right! You bet! Took about 5 minutes of scrubbing to get both of those burners clean. I don't often use the other two so I didn't need to clean them.

Happy Cleaning!
<3The Mortician's Wife

UPDATE 3/26/2015: If you use a knife like I did to clean off the extra grime, be very, very gentle. As others have pointed out, you can scratch the surface if you are too rough. I used a knife because it is what I had on hand, but a magic eraser works just as wonderfully.

Previous Posts:
All-Purpose Cleaner
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